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April 13, 2017 - Image 6

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NOW.

ACROSS
1 Jackson with a
1972 Lifetime
Achievement
Grammy
8 Rx watchdog
11 Wing
14 Most sober
15 Curved part
16 Md. neighbor
17 Infomercial
promise
19 Md. neighbor
20 Powerful 1970s
Pittsburgh
defensive line,
familiarly
22 Didst whack
25 Spot checker?
26 One-named
Deco master
27 Swiss river
28 Loot
31 Storm warning
33 Pair
35 Algonquin Round
Table member,
e.g.
37 Role for Dustin
38 “The Card
Players” artist
42 Amu __: Asian
river
44 Verizon
subsidiary
45 Undertaking
48 Anka song with
the phrase “Kiss
me mucho”
51 Soccer chant
53 Loving murmur
54 A giraffe has a
long one
55 Org. concerned
with briefs
57 “Swing Shift”
Oscar nominee
59 Sticker on store
fruit
63 Fill in (for)
64 Hint in a specialty
crossword, and,
literally, what’s
found in 17-, 20-,
38- and 59-Across
68 Actor Wallach
69 Jeans name
70 Like some lunch
orders
71 “Amen!”
72 Inject
73 “Seems that way
to me”

DOWN
1 “Mrs. Miniver”
studio
2 2001 W.S.
champs
3 Guffaw sound
4 Stop at sea
5 Hopkins role
6 Scotland’s Arran,
e.g.
7 Perfectly, with
“to”
8 Leak source
9 Diminutive celeb
sexologist
10 Taiwanese PC
maker
11 Pirate on the
Queen Anne’s
Revenge
12 Descendants of a
son of Jacob and
Leah
13 Venezuelan
cowboy
18 MDL ÷ X
21 Studio occupant
22 Glum
23 Kentucky Derby
time
24 Latin “pray for
us”
29 Barn __
30 Light source

32 Banquet
dispenser
34 Futon kin
36 Sweet __
39 OPEC member
40 Madhouse
41 The lot
42 Portrayer of
“McDreamy” on
“Grey’s Anatomy”
43 Typically
46 Boozer
47 Colorful carp

49 Revered
50 Was loyal to
52 Picks
56 High point of a
European trip?
58 Foil giant
60 Golden St.
campus
61 Yours, to Yves
62 Tie up
65 Not of the cloth
66 __ Nimitz
67 DDE’s command

By Matt Skoczen
©2017 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
04/13/17

04/13/17

ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:

RELEASE DATE– Thursday, April 13, 2017

Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle

Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

xwordeditor@aol.com

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6 — Thursday, April 13, 2017
Arts
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com

‘Smurfs’ is more bearable
than its bad predecessors

COLUMBIA PICTURES

Still from the latest “Smurfs”

The anticipated sequel to the hit animated movie proves mediocre

“Smurfs: The Lost Village”

is marginally more sufferable
than the live-action / CGI
films that came out in the
early 2010s, which is to say,
this movie will not make
parents leave their children
unattended in a movie theater
while they sprint outside for
fresh air after every scene. It’s
not a pleasant experience for
anyone above the age of five,
and the dearth of original ideas
is exhausting, but for those
preparing themselves for the
worst, rest easy. “Smurfs: The
Lost Village” is not terrible.
It’s only bad.

The
thing
is,
there’s
a

moving idea at the core of
“The Lost Village”: Smurfette

(Demi Lovato, “Camp Rock”),
a Smurf created by evil wizard
Gargamel (Rainn
Wilson,
“The

Office”), has an
identity
crisis.

She
sees
the

naturally-created
boys
around

her
comfortable

in
their
own

skin and wants
something similar, but she
worries that her origin means
she’ll only ever be meant
for evil. That’s a potentially
powerful character arc, and
when writers Stacey Harman
(“The Goldbergs”) and Pamela
Ribon (“Moana”) tap into it,
it results in some of the most
poignant scenes “The Lost
Village” has to offer.

The voice cast also has

talent to spare. Wilson puts
his comedic chops to good

use, and the four jokes that
work do so because of him.

Mandy Patinkin
(“Homeland”) is
put to little use as
Papa Smurf, but
when he is given
his due near the
film’s
end,
he

absolutely
nails

it, carrying the
most
emotional

scenes of the film. The most
shocking part of the cast may
be the minor characters, which
includes vocal performances
by “New Girl” stand-out Jake
Johnson as Grumpy Smurf and
Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable
Kimmy Schmidt”) as Vanity
Smurf. The two feel underused
as
mere
stunt
casting,

especially considering they’re
the funniest members of the
ensemble.

The
rest
of
the
movie

JEREMIAH VANDERHELM

Daily Arts Writer

plays like “The Smurfs Go
to Pandora.” The fantastical
setting is cool at first but upon
inspection reveals itself to
be an (even more) animated
knock-off of the setting of
“Avatar.” The story doesn’t fare
much better. After the early
Smurfette-centric
scenes,

the core group of Smurfs
ventures into the forest to find
something that Smurfette saw
earlier. The result is a plotline
certain to be the subject of
much ire on meninist message
boards.

The
ensuing
message

of
female
empowerment

is
welcome,
but
it
isn’t

communicated
in
any

interesting
way.
It
winds

up being a “battle of the
sexes” like every movie of
this type (see: “Alvin and the
Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”)
but
blessedly
abbreviated

here.
The
accompanying

score is occasionally pretty,
but
director
Kelly
Asbury

(“Gnomeo & Juliet”) often goes
to the well of generic, outdated

pop songs like “Blue (Da Ba
Dee).” Get it? Because the
Smurfs are blue.

Besides Smurfette and Papa

Smurf, the characters hold
no weight either. The Smurfs

are fundamentally one-note.
Their personalities are able to
be defined by one word, and
because of that, it’s hard to
care about them or laugh at
any of the jokes derived from
their traits. Clumsy Smurf
(a
perpetually
screaming

Jack McBrayer, “30 Rock”)
is clumsy. Ha. Nosey Smurf
(Asbury) is a voyeur. Ha.

Brainy Smurf (Danny Pudi,
“Community”) is a nerd, but in
a bizarre series of jokes, seems
to have murderous impulses,
which in a modern cinematic
climate, seems an idea destined
to be the inspiration for a dark
and gritty “Smurfs” reboot,
presumably helmed by Zack
Snyder. It’s just hard to care
about any of them when they
have to stay within boundaries
defined by a single adjective.

Aside from its work on

Smurfette, “Smurfs: The Lost
Village” doesn’t do anything
original or interesting. It lacks
a strong story or sense of humor
– at one point, Gargamel French
kisses
his
vulture,
Monty,

because kids love bestiality.
Its old characters are as flat
as ever, and the new ones it
introduces have their own
shticks that are driven into the
ground within thirty seconds.
It’s all vastly preferable to the
hybrid animation dreck from a
few years ago, but that doesn’t
make it recommendable to any
but the youngest of children.

“Smurfs: The

Lost Village”

Columbia Pictures

Rave Cinemas,

Goodrich Quality 16

COMMUNITY CULTURE PREVIEW
Renowned literary critic
to promote newest book

Literary critic and author Steven Moore to present selections
from his new work “Mr Back Pages” this coming Monday

Following his two-volume

venture
“The
Novel:
An

Alternative History,” in which
he surveyed the innermost
roots of literature, author and
literary critic Steven Moore
has come out with a newer,
fresher take on the written
word.

“It’s
mostly
about

innovative fiction of the late
20th century,” Moore wrote
about his upcoming book,
“My
Back
Pages:
Essays

and Reviews,” in an email
interview.
“The
first
half

consists of a couple hundred
book reviews written over the
last 40 years and the second
half about two dozen essays.”

While not officially the

third
volume,
“My
Back

Pages” serves as somewhat of
a final installment to Moore’s
exploration of the history of
the novel.

“I didn’t have the energy

to write the huge concluding
volume
on

modern
fiction

that I intended,”
Moore
wrote.

“So I decided it
might
be
time

to
gather
all

my
scattered

writings into one
convenient place.
As I assembled
them, I realized
that
I
had

already
written

about many of
the novelists I
planned to cover
in
that
final

volume, so this new book is
sort of a surrogate for that
unwritten third volume.”

Moore’s
writing
is

reflective of his untraditional
approach to literary criticism.
He
started
his
collegiate

studies as a history major,
and this background is seen
as he strays from theoretical
styles, opting instead for more
historical angles on fiction.

“I was more concerned with

locating modern writers in the
continuum of literary history,
and
drawing

attention to the
little-known
ones, rather than
deconstructing
their
work,”

Moore said.

Having played

in several bands
throughout
college,
popular culture
references
and

glimmers
of

folk-inspired
idiosyncrasy
shine
through

in
Moore’s

work. His texts
are casual and
attainable
for

contemporary
audiences.

“The music of

the 1960s was
my
first
love,

especially
the
innovative

lyrics of Bob Dylan, Jim
Morrison, Robin Williamson
(of
the
Incredible
String

Band),
Syd
Barrett,
and

Keith
Reid
(of
Procol

Harum),” Moore wrote. “So
when I turned to literature
I
carried
their
sensibility

with me: their fanciful use
of language, their alternative
worldviews, their iconoclasm
and
nonconformity,
their

willingness to be different.
I’m not your typical literary
critic (no academic affiliation,

bookselling background), and
I owe part of that to them.”

An avid listener, writer

and thinker, Moore is, above
all else, an ardent reader. He
holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers
University,
for
which
his

dissertation
on
William

Gaddis (“William
Gaddis”)
was

published
in

1989.
Drawn

to
him
from

shared interests
in
mythology

and religion, he
resonated
with

Gaddis’s
works

and
the
ways

in
which
he

resembled James
Joyce, an author
Moore
deeply

admired in his
20s.

“Since hardly

anything had been written
about him (Gaddis), I decided
to rectify that. Both my first
published article and first
book were on Gaddis,” Moore
said. “I liked his style, his
outlook on life, his humor
and sarcasm, his encyclopedic
range — he was Mr. Right as
far as my literary tastes were
concerned.”

Now
a
prominent
force

in
the
realm
of
literary

criticism, Moore encourages
burgeoning writers to do the

unthinkable: to
be themselves.

“Before
I

began
writing

the
first

volume of my
novel
history,

I
assumed

I
would
be

writing
it

in
standard

academese, and
dragged my feet
because I had
grown
tired

of that style,”
Moore
said.

“Then one day
I just decided
to write it in
my own voice,
quirks
and

all,
and
the

floodgates
of

creativity burst
open. I dashed
off the 36-page

introduction in a week, and I
think it’s that personal tone
that separates my criticism
from the academic variety.
Similarly, my favorite writers
are those with a distinctive,
even eccentric voice of their
own.”

Moore has been living in

Ann Arbor since 2001. If you
haven’t
seen
him
around

Hatcher, where he’s done the
bulk of his research for the
past 16 years, you can catch
him
promoting
“My
Back

Pages” at Literati this Monday.

ARYA NAIDU
Daily Arts Writer

Steven Moore:

“My Back

Pages: Essays
and Reviews”

Monday, April

17 @ 7 P.M.

Literati

Bookstore

Free

Now a prominent

force in the

realm of literary
criticism, Moore

encourages
burgeoning

writers to do the
unthinkable: to be

themselves

FILM REVIEW

The rest of the
movie plays like
“The Smurfs Go

to Pandora”

Back to Top

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